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Photographer's Note

This is the 7th view from my trip to Turkey.

Hagia Sophia - one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Hagia Sophia is covered by a central dome with a diameter of 31 meters (102 feet) and 56 meters high, slightly smaller than the Pantheon's. It was the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville.

Of great artistic value was its decorated interior with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings. The temple was richly and artistically decorated.
The anomalies in the design of the Hagia Sophia show how this structure is one of the most advanced and ambitious monuments of late antiquity.

Restoration work in the 20th century began in 1932 by the American Byzantine Institute, when most of the figures were uncovered. In 1934, under Turkish president Kemal Atatürk, Hagia Sophia was secularized and turned into the Ayasofya Museum.

Due to its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. The Christian iconographic mosaics are being gradually uncovered. However, in order to do so, important, historic Islamic art must be destroyed. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited.

Unfortunatelly one can not take a tripod inside Hagia Sophia. You have to leave it at the main entrance and try to manage not to shake your camera when taking the pictures indoors with quite long exposures like 1/4 - 10 sec. As I always try to use the best quality apertures of my lenses (6.7 - 13) I have to set quite long exposure time like 4 seconds here. At the end of the day this picture is sharp :-) I just used the nearest column and put the camera on it with self timer.

Taken with 10d and wide-angle lens.

Hope you like it!

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More views from Turkey in my travelogue: The Best of Turkey.
Thanks for visiting!
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Additional Photos by Patryk Moriak (patriik) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 10 N: 360] (1935)
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